By Joan Nwagwu
Abuja – The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, on Tuesday solicited for support of the National Assembly in the passage of pending labour bills.
Ngige made the appeal during an oversight visit by members of the House of Representative Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity led by Mr Ezenwa Enyewuchi to the ministry in Abuja.
Ngige, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Clement Illo, said that the ministry was confronted with some challenges.
“The challenges confronting the ministry include amongst others the non-passage of pending labour bills in the National Assembly since 2006.
“These challenges confronting the ministry falls within the purview of the National Assembly which is the passage of pending labour bills.
“Most especially are the Labour Institutions and National Social Insurance Trust Fund (Amendment Bill) among others.
“I am sure that the ministry has made tremendous contributions to national development so as to attract the attention of this committee in terms of engaging it.
“And also in providing the solution of the challenges bedeviling the ministry for effective and efficient service delivery of its mandate, ‘’he said.
The minister said that the support of the National Assembly was vital to the attainment of industrial peace and harmony among the working class for sustainable national development.
He added that the Ministry of Labour and Employment is key to national development because it deals with human resources which is a vital element in the production process.
“Therefore your oversight function to this ministry will enhance its’ efforts at ensuring peace and harmony in the world of work,’’ Ngige said.
In his remarks, Mr Ezenwa Enyewuchi, Chairman, House Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity said that the National Assembly placed high premium on the Ministry.
He said this was in view of its mandate of providing jobs for the teeming unemployed youths and maintenance of harmonious industrial milieu.
“We are here today in line with our constitutional responsibility of oversight,
“We consider this ministry very important because it deals with human capital, and employment generation which is critical, especially at this moment when Nigeria can be considered to be in unemployment crisis.
“Therefore, this ministry is very strategic and should be treated as such, ‘’he said
Enyewuchi said the purpose of the visit was to attune the committee with the performance of the 2016 budget and also to enable them make informed decision in the consideration of the 2017 budget.
He said that the committee was ready to partner, support and encourage the ministry ahead of the consideration of 2017 budget.
“This will enable us to make effective laws for the good governance and by implication appropriate a budget that will lift this country out of recession.
“That will also provide jobs for the teaming unemployed youths, ‘’he said.